# Commutative Property of Multiplication

Commutative property of multiplication:

 huge color(purple)(a times b=b times a)

What does it mean?

It means, that order of numbers doesn't matter.

Indeed, as can be seen from illustration, we can count there are 3 circles in a row, and there are 2 rows, so total number of squares is 3times2=6.

From another side, we can rotate picture and count circles in another way: 3 rows, and in each row 2 circles: 2times3=6.

Warning: it doesn't work with division, i.e. a/b!=b/a.

For example, 3/2!=2/3.

However, commutative property of multiplication works for negative numbers (in fact, for real numbers) as well.

Example 1. 3 times (-4)=(-4) times 3=-12.

Example 2. (-2.51) times (-3.4)=(-3.4) times (-2.51).

Example 3. -5/8 times 2/3=(-5/8) times 2/3=-5/12.

Conclusion. So, the basic rule here is following: whenever you see multiplication, you can interchange factors.